CDPH in the News, October 2014

CDPH in the News

West Nile Virus at Highest Level Ever Recorded in California
from NBC Bay Area

California health officials say the proportion of mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus is at the highest level ever recorded in the state. Last week, 52 new cases were reported in California. So far this year there have been 181 human cases reported and eight deaths. Last year at this time 101 cases had been reported, according to the California Department of Public Health.

California Department of Public Health Confirms Enterovirus D68 in California Patients
from Sierra Sun Times

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has confirmed 4 enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) cases in patients in San Diego (3) and Ventura (1) counties it was announced today by Dr. Ron Chapman, CDPH director and state health officer. These are the first confirmed cases in California in 2014 due to EV-D68. There are other specimens from throughout the state being tested at CDPH labs. More cases are anticipated in the coming weeks. CDPH has asked local health departments to submit samples from all rhinovirus/enterovirus positive specimens from hospitalized children less than 18 years of age or from clusters of cases of any age to CDPH for further typing. Several specimens have been received by CDPH for testing, and testing is underway.

California Department of Public Health Reports Rate of Illegal Tobacco Sales to Youth Increases in California
from Sierra Sun Times

Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer, today released the California rate of illegal tobacco sales to minors, which has increased to the highest rate since 2008. The 2014 Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey found that illegal tobacco sales to minors at retail outlets occurred at a rate of 9.0 percent, compared to 7.6 percent last year. "While we are pleased that this is the sixth consecutive year our illegal sales to minors rate remained under 10 percent, we are concerned that a higher percentage of youths this year illegally had access to tobacco products than in recent years," Chapman said.

Oakland Kids to be Offered Free Flu Shots Right at Their Schools
from The California Report

Children at more than 100 Oakland schools are eligible for free flu shots this fall as part of a new program aimed at protecting children and the broader community against influenza. All pre-K students through fifth grade at public, private, charter and parochial schools are eligible. At some schools, students through sixth or eighth grade may participate. It?s all part of Shoo the Flu, a collaboration between the Alameda County Public Health Department, the California Department of Public Health and the Oakland Unified School District.

Public Health Department Lifts Vendor Moratorium for WIC Food Program
from California Healthline

The California Department of Public Health this week announced the lifting of a moratorium on adding new stores to its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food program. That means more than 250 grocery stores across California can be added to the WIC program in the first two phases of implementation. The moratorium was first imposed in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in an attempt to get a better handle on cost-containment by limiting the number of grocery outlets.

Not Just Skin Deep: UC Berkeley Researchers Study Dangers of Makeup
from California Magazine

Research shows that a class of chemicals found in many household and personal care products mimic or block the normal effects of hormones such as estrogen?a key player in breast cancer. These "endocrine disruptors" may pose a particular threat to teenagers during the years when their hormone levels are on the rise. Kim Harley is an associate director at Cal’s Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health. With funds from UC’s California Breast Cancer Research Program, she and colleagues at a Salinas-based network of clinics have launched HERMOSA, a project to advance endocrine disrupter research while teaching 12 Latino high school students the skills needed to carry out public health studies.
Last year, the students were trained to design and perform research to determine what cosmetics, shampoos, and other personal care products their peers use. They also studied what levels of endocrine disrupters their peers are exposed to in these products. The teens also ran a "beauty bar" that gave girls a chance to try products without endocrine disrupters. This year, lab studies by chemists at the California Department of Public Health will reveal how switching to alternative personal care products affects levels of endocrine disrupters in the 100 girls who participated in the study.